A new interview to SLetoABecks, made by the journalist Helen Victory of TopDj. Enjoy it muddafuggaz!
They had promised. And they kept a word. The drummer of 30 Seconds to Mars, one of the most popular rock-bands of the world, Shannon Leto and the front man of dance-rock-band CB7 Antoine Becks had visited Ukraine for the first time in October, 2011 with their electro-percussion set. But they missed Kiev and Borsch earlier than the most courageous admirers could even dream. Of course, TopDJ.ua didn’t miss an opportunity to ask such persons about music, life and plans for the future.Antoine and Shannon, who had been composing music of absolutely different styles during all their lives, got acquainted some years ago and decided to experiment by combining electronic music with live percussion. And it worked! During breaks in bands’ tour schedules, they quite successfully travel and play in clubs of the whole world, bringing the inexpressible energy, which the most eminent DJ’s could envy.
We met musicians some hours before the show. The guys arrived to Kiev right after the performance in Russia, and the next day they had to be in Minsk, Belarus where the following party was gonna be. However, they masterfully hid their tired eyes under dark glasses, making impression as if to sleep for 4 hours per day is quite OK.

TopDJ: How is your Eastern Europe tour going? This is already the second time you came to us straight from Russia. Can you compare the Ukrainian and Russian public?

Shannon: Of course, there is always a difference. But there also is a huge similarity between you. I love Ukraine, I love Kiev. It’s a very beautiful city. People here are full of passion, love and energy. And they simply give themselves away at our shows.

TopDj: And who is freakier at the concerts?

Antoine: In this sense you and Russia are just at one level. People of both countries are simply mad. Directly as we love.

TopDj: We know that you are fans of borsch. Have you already lunched? (As Shannon heard “a secret word”, his reaction was unexpectedly active).

Shannon: Borsch, borsch, borsch. Borsch! We love it!

Antoine: Yes, that was the first thing we’d taste here, in Kiev.

TopDJ: Let’s talk about the music. You got acquainted a few years ago and began work on the CB7 project where Antoine is the front man, and Shannon – the producer. Nevertheless, now you actively go on tour as a duet, combining DJ-set with live percussions right on a scene. Working together, do you make plans in advance or simply do what is pleasant to you?

Shannon: Of course, we have a plan. There are lots of things happening right now. We both have them. Firstly, our performances let compose tracks that we’re gonna share with the world.

TopDj: How soon?

Shannon: Umm.. Soon. (He smiles and tactfully hides details). Also we work on the new CB7 album. And I also work on the new 30 Seconds to Mars album. Soon. You’ll know everything soon.

TopDJ: You’ve traveled around the whole world with your bands and performed at the biggest areas. But with Antoine you play mainly at clubs. For you is it just a certain possibility to relax in breaks of intense tour schedules?

Shannon: I always give the same amount of energy as at the performances in clubs as at stadiums. By the way, it is not always simpler to play at the small area.

Antoine: No matter what size an area has. Whenever we went on stage, we completely surrender ourselves to the show. All around – it does not matter.

TopDJ: What tracks and songs do you lately like to play most of all?

Antoine: There is a great song from my friends from Australia - Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl – In My Mind Feat. Georgi Kay. Love this track. Also like the stuff from the Russian Hard Rock Sofa. Another fond of Knife Party. Quite a lot of cool music now!

TopDJ: Antoine, you’re just a music machine. How many instruments do you play?

Antoine: guitar, bass, piano. I’m not very good drummer, but I can play drums too. And I sing.

TopDJ: And what program do you use for composing music?

Antoine: Preferably, Logic. Sometimes – Ableton Live.

TopDJ: And when we finally hear your voice?

Antoine: Oh, I’m already in the process of recording new songs for the CB7!

TopDj: What about live vocal in Ukraine?

Antoine: Hope, that very soon. We’ll finish the album and go on tour supporting it.

TopDJ: Shannon, you are in  30 Seconds to Mars with your brother Jared, and Antoine is in CB7 playing with his cousin Matt.  Is it always easy to work with relatives?

Shannon: I think that it is always difficult to have a common business with other people. But I love working with my brother. I trust his vision. I appreciate his taste. Always inspired by him and support his choice. To me, he always discovers something new. And I like it.

TopDJ: So is it always easy?

Shannon: These efforts are always rewarded!

Antoine: I write songs for CB7 by myself, so I manage the whole process of creating in this project. But it’s really cool to go on tour with my brother as my drummer. The same family!

TopDJ: We know that you don’t have much free time. But, guys, how do you spend it? Sleeping for days?

Shannon: No-o-o. I, definitely, need to sleep more. We really have not enough free time. But, for example, a couple of weeks ago I was in Northern California, in a stunning place called Big Sur. It was incredible! Ocean waves by their effusions to the rocks… And these woods behind … Awesome! It is a pity that I did not have much time.

Antoine: I have all the same! In fact, with Shannon we have very much in common. We both are hard workers! I love spending free time in the cities I visit during the tour. The process of discovering new cities and people really grabs me. Unfortunately, not always it’s possible to see as much as we would like.

By the way, Antoine did not lie. And after a performance in Minsk he even went back to Kiev for a little time and relax before going home.

TopDJ: What kind of music were you listening to during the flight to Kiev?

Shannon: I was listening to Michael Jackson – Off the wall. What’s the album! Of 79th year! Funky production! Today we had something like R’n’B journey. We listened to the new, old and thought about how they managed to keep this sincerity in the music and create such a sound back in those days.

Antoine: I spend a lot of time writing my own music. And I was always inspired by – and therefore get to my play list – time-tested songs, which you can listen to for 20 and 30 years. For example Etta James. I always have a lot as old music as new, and all in different styles. But the most important thing – these tracks are very touching to me.

TopDJ: Are there any musicians or albums that have very influenced you?

Shannon: Too many of these. I do not know how to choose. I was never a fan of one group or one album. I had never criticized any one. I am open to everything new and various. There are so mush music, bands and artists in the world! And they all influence me somehow.

Antoine: For me it is, in fact, Beatles! They are a so huge part of my life! I listened to them when I was a kid. And keep listen up now.

TopDJ: Tell us about the strange things that your fans have ever made.

Shannon: A fan once broke into our bus during the tour. It was very strange.

TopDJ: One last question. Being a true fan of 30 Seconds to Mars, I cannot ask: When you are planning to release a new album and return to Ukraine?

Shannon (again calmly smiling): Soon. Soon.

TopDJ: Would you wish something to TopDj’s readers, Ukrainian Djs and producers?

Antoine: It’s hard to create dance music. It needs to invest much effort in production. And before you show it to anyone – just make sure you did everything right: that all sounds well, that your track will appear at the right time and in the correct format. And only then let it to the world.

TopDJ: Antoine, you are a perfectionist!

Antoine: Oh, yes!

Shannon: You just need to listen to your heart, to follow him to work till you drop, work, work, work… Spend the time. And eventually, you’ll find your sound. The more you risk, you try something new – the better you get music. Just do not be afraid to spend time on it.

Antoine: Yes! Shannon says right, it is very important to have your voice and your sound. To be different. Because there are so many DJ’s and producers. It’s very important to understand what YOU will show to the world. You need to stay at home and think hard about your tracks. And only then go and submit your creations to the public.

The party had a success. People in the hall were dancing in unison, literally, with the first sound. And while Antoine was mixing his awesome tracks, Shannon beat the drums his the most incredible parts, often running up to the edge of the stage to make the crowd go wild and dance along with him. How it was, you can see in our photo report.

Despite the huge number of DJ’s and parties in Ukraine – such ones are really rare. And we hope that if the guys promised – so, be sure they’ll come back.

P.S. We had just talked about the impact of electronic music on a rock band of the guys, as front man of 30 Seconds to Mars, and Shannon’s brother – Jared Leto has officially confirmed that the new album will be “a dramatic departure from the past: it’s gonna be very orchestral, plot and thematic, interactive, and more electronic. “

Credits: TopDj and SLA, via Yes This Is A Cult.
Translation by: Mindy Forest


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